Largest Solar Farm in Kansas Starts Commercial Operation

Sunflower Electric Power Corporation’s rural co-op members now
enjoying clean, cost-effective energy from facility built, owned and
operated by Lightsource BP

PVTIME - Sunflower Electric Power Corp. and Lightsource BP have announced that the Johnson Corner Solar Project entered commercial operation on April 7. The $37 million project, which was financed and constructed by Lightsource BP, is located approximately two miles southwest of Johnson City in Stanton County, Kansas.

Lightsource BP, a global leader in the development, financing and
management of utility-scale solar energy projects, is the project owner and
operator. All the energy from the project is being sold under a 25-year power
purchase agreement (PPA) to Sunflower, a not-for-profit electric utility
providing wholesale generation and transmission services to six member-owners
serving in central and western Kansas. The National Renewables Cooperative
Organization (NRCO) played a key role in helping Sunflower develop this
important project for the public power community.

“Sunflower is proud to have worked with Lightsource BP and NRCO to bring
online the state’s largest solar project to date,” said Stuart Lowry, president
and CEO of Sunflower. “The Johnson Corner Solar Project adds yet another
renewable fuel source to our diversified generation portfolio, which is
designed to protect both the affordability and reliability of the energy we
provide to our members.”

The project delivers 20 megawatts (AC) of clean and affordable on-peak
electricity – enough to power the peak demand of over 4,900 homes across
Sunflower’s service territory and more than doubling the state’s utility-scale
solar capacity, previously at 14.1 megawatts. In addition to providing
low-cost, on-peak energy, the Johnson Corner Solar Project will reduce loading
on a nearby transmission line that is approaching capacity. As a result,
Sunflower’s members will save costs by deferring or ultimately canceling the
requirement for expensive infrastructure upgrades.

“Lightsource BP is pleased to be part of this project and in helping to
keep rates low for electric cooperative members due to value derived from clean
and low cost energy supply and transmission savings,” said Kevin Smith, CEO of
Lightsource BP in the Americas. “We applaud Sunflower Electric Power Corp. for
their leadership in bringing the many benefits of solar energy to their
communities in central and western Kansas.”

The project created more than 200 jobs during peak construction, with the
workforce dispatched across 144 acres. Lightsource BP’s construction general
contractor was Sterling and Wilson, who hired local subcontractors and
recruited from the local labor pool. Precautions and guidelines provided by the
CDC and public officials were followed on site, as well as implementation by
Sterling and Wilson of additional strict measures to ensure the safety of the
workers and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

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